A day before Indian Air Force Day, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday visited Nathu La near India-China border, an area where the two countries indulged in an intense gun battle in 1967.
On Indian Defence Minister’s arrival, PLA troops across the border started taking pictures of her. She also warmly “acknowledged the row of Chinese soldiers from across the fence.”
“Acknowledged a row of Chinese soldiers from across the fences who were taking pictures on my reaching Nathu La,” Sitharaman tweeted.
The Defence Minister then went near the fences and interacted with Chinese soldiers. She also taught them the meaning of "Namaste".
Sitharaman travelled Nathu La, 52 km from Gangtok by road and interacted with Army and ITB soldiers and officials.
However, her scheduled aerial survey of Doklam, an area where Indian and Chinese troops indulged in an over two-month-long standoff, got cancelled due to bad weather.
Defence Minister’s visit to the forward Indo-Sino border area came amid reports of a road construction in Doklam by Chinese PLA soldiers.
The Doklam standoff between India and China started after Indian Army stopped the construction of a road in the area which is disputed between China and Bhutan. India supports Bhutan’s claim.
The standoff, which started on June 16, came to an end on August 28 after several rounds of diplomatic talks between Indian and Chinese leaders. The Indian government, in a press release, had said that both countries will withdraw its troops from the area.
However, recent reports say that only India withdrew its troops while a large number of Chinese soldiers are still present in Doklam and also constructing a road.